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 • Definition of ePortfolio

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 • Definition of ePortfolio

Posted by brython at 2005-04-28 10:42 AM
The present headline definition is a little thin, but it is hard to define a service that may be an application! A long definition is easier than something short: - "Proposed definition: - An individual’s e-portfolio for learning is: - • a repository of information about a particular learner provided by the learner and by other people and organisations, including products in a range of media that the learner has created or helped to create alongside formal documents from authoritative sources, such as transcripts of assessed achievement, which the learner has chosen to retain; • principally owned by the learner, although some of the things it contains may be co-owned, for example an individual learning plan containing past results and future targets negotiated between learner and teacher, or fully owned by another party, for example a showcase set of architectural drawings for a client; • capable of providing the information about a learner from which different profiles of the learner may be developed through other services and retained within the ePortfolio; • typically provided by an organisation which may set conditions for its use. An individual may have a single ePortfolio or a sequence of ePortfolios and may make simultaneous use of several ePortfolios. An ePortfolio for Lifelong Learning is the aggregation of all an individual’s ePortfolios such that they appear to the owner as a seamless whole. A closer understanding of the services contributing to and making use of ePortfolio will help to develop a fuller definition of ePortfolio in particular by scoping the discrete functionality that ePortfolio provides." Peter
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check Re: Definition of ePortfolio

Posted by scott at 2005-05-02 07:39 AM

I think in this context we need to distinguish between the processes, the applications, the objects, and the services. What does an ePortfolio service actually do? Well, understanding what an ePortfolio is is a good start (thanks, Peter!)

The next step is to think about how this relates to a service model. Perhaps all an "ePortfolio" service does is allow applications to pick up the appropriate version of someone's portfolio; at its simplest, just a file hosted on a server, at its more complex, a complete system providing filtering, authorization, stylesheet selection etc.

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 • Re: Definition of ePortfolio

Posted by Peter at 2005-05-14 09:38 PM

The problem that the ePortfolio service needs to address is the potential complexity of the process.

An English 16 year old may already have many ePortfolios similtaneously, say an OCR GCSE assessed ePortfolio and a Nottingham Passport ePortfolio, whose focus is Personal Development. In future do we have a screen with tabs to flip from one ePortfolio to another, or an ePortfolio service that allows a learner to follow a theme seamlessly across both ePortfolios?

The UK is making a major investment in Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) in universities in which a major theme is ePortfolios which go beyond assessment to the learning that is being assessed. This requires ePortfolios to be integrated with the curriculum such that a joint honours student might have ePortfolios in 2 subjects together with an additional ePortfolio covering internships and work experience.

The UK ePortfolio reference model will have to go further than specififying thre interfaces required for services to interoperate with any one of these ePortfolios to integrate the separate ePortfolios in similtaneous use and this, I think, requires the definition of a genuine ePortfolio service.

There will be a consultation document on this theme published on 14 June 2005, with an updated version available for alt-i-lab the link for which I will publish on this site.

Peter Rees Jones

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Posts: 4

 • Re: Definition of ePortfolio

Posted by ephil at 2005-12-06 06:59 PM

Dear Peter and Scott,

Thanks for your above contributions. Defining the eportfolio as a concept is difficult, as is that of elearning. Defining the eportfolio as a service is equally difficult.

I congratulate you on your ambitious goals.

Here are some of my thoughts that I hope will contribute to your work:
#The learner/user chooses the form/product/software for his eportfolio.
#The eportfolio is owned by the learner/user, not an organisation.
#The eportfolio is a life long learning tool, and there should be no need of using seperate eportfolio solutions if not for the user's personal preference.
#Content should be easily transfered by the user from one eportfolio to another when needed (thanks to standards and interoperability).
#The eportfolio is not a tool for teaching and training, but for learning. I mean by this that teaching and training are actions done by someone else (the teacher/trainer), while learning is done solely by the learner.
#The eportfolio has a reflective purpose -which gives the learner the means for metacognition and self-assessment.
#The learner must be able to give specific access/vision to his eportfolio for different purposes/people: accreditation (teacher's view), presentation (empoyer's view)...

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Posts: 1

 • Re: Definition of ePortfolio

Posted by jrt7 at 2006-12-22 12:10 AM

In positive response to Phillipe:
-ePortfolio software and portfolio content should be owned by users versus organizations-the organizations that control access and permissions.
-A e-portfolio should show proof of an individual user's learning and performance, versus proof of an orgaization's goals.
-Content and inspiration should outweight standards. Standards are important, but mostly useful for the organizations that support the standards versus eportfolio. Portfolio software should be driven from user requirements analysis versus an organization's objectives.
-An example of this sort of thinking is at DigitallyU.com

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